The barrier between web developers and online marketers is blurring more and more as the pace of economic recovery quickens. When a new demand arises for a particular product, marketers often do not have any time to wait for developers to knock out a new feature on a website. That is where Google Tag Manager (GTM) comes in. This product was launched very recently by Google and helps people without any significant knowledge of programming to make changes to a website’s tracking tools.
Anyone can sign up for GTM and insert trackers on any conceivable page or obscure part of a website/blog. For instance, if you sell shoes and you find that Google Analytics does not measure something you would like to know, you insert a GTM data layer, a 'container', and start tracking. This is great for seasonal offers you might run on your site.
If you suspect that due to the World Cup there is going to be an interest in green shoe laces this season, you can insert a little tracker on your green shoe lace products page for a day or two, analyse the visitors that show an interest in this, find out what their demographics, interests and previous buying patterns are, and then hit them on day three with an ad that is tailor made for this type of audience. Quick as a flash and bang on target.
If normally, you’d have to employ a developer for inserting such a tracking device, now you can do it yourself whilst the developer has all the time in the world to bash out that product page in no time. Sweet!
Whatever is quantifiable can be measured with GTM. Even websites that have been created by external developers or that are enormously extensive qualify for GTM. What’s more, the tool can be used in combination with a variety of other tracking products, including Adobe Analytics, and it is probably needless to say that it can be seamlessly integrated with Google Analytics.
Marketers can track the most basic events to the most complex issues. Most people however will likely adopt GTM to get a handle on the exact decisions customers make within their customer purchasing trajectory.
Difference between GTM and Google Analytics
Some people might ask what the difference is between Google Analytics and GTM. The answer is simple. In essence, the GTM data layers are the very building blocks of Google Analytics. Whatever is measured in Google Analytics is kind of decided for you and with Google Tag Manager, you can decide for yourself what exactly you track. So both tools function at opposite ends of the spectrum.
The most important advantage GTM offers, apart from its ease of use, is that you can use it wherever and whenever you want on your site. Google Analytics is nowhere near as flexible.
I have focused mainly on the web in this article, but GTM is also applicable to mobile applications. If you are interested in the tool, read this practical guide by Daniel Weisberg on how to use it.
Image credit: Ed Kohler cc